After Further Review … "Chalk up another one," said Fox Broadcaster Joe Buck during the MLB ALCS series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels. What Buck was referring to were several "blown" calls by the Major League Umpire crew working that series. Some were "bang – bang" type plays (safe vs. out) on the base paths. These are calls made in real time vs. making the call from one's living room, with help from several replays and the aid of "freeze-cam" used by Fox. Incorrect calls are troublesome to officials. Every official I have ever known strives to be perfect – every call perfectly correct. However, here are a couple of concerns which come to mind.
In the 4th game of that Yankees vs. Angels series, a play at third base was called incorrectly – not so much a result of poor judgment, but more of an incorrect interpretation. While these incorrect interpretation calls are rare, the official making that decision may have a 'brain freeze' at any given moment. Granted, those in Major League Baseball, especially in the playoffs, should be immune to "misinterpretations." Fortunately, that call didn't influence the game's outcome.
For me, the issue is, why didn't someone in the umpiring crew of 6 confer with the umpire who made that call and review the play to get it correct? Crew conferences in other sports are common-place and designed to get the call right. MLB needs to utilize these conferences more often, like the World Series crew did in Game 1.
It is often suggested that the NFL employ its' officials on a full-time basis with the intent of eliminating – or at least reducing – incorrect calls. While perfection is the goal, full-time will not guarantee perfection. MLB umpires are full time! NBA officials are full time! Yet, in both cases, errors are made. Further, professional players in all sports are full-time and yet we see them commit mental as well as physical errors; to wit: The Angels, in game 6, committing several fielding and base running miscues, atypical of playoff caliber teams.
And, finally, since the NFL and NBA are using replay devices to reduce errors, when will MLB initiate such a system? Baseball purists, as well as the MLB Umpires Union, have denied its importance. When used judiciously, replay can be of value in correcting errant calls.
Will you respect the humanness of officiating?
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